A series of coincidences has led to an exciting collaboration between workwear brand TradeMutt and a Moreton Bay Region social enterprise supporting bereaved parents who have suffered miscarriage.
Sweet Peanuts founder Barbara Armstrong says the collaboration, which also includes indigenous artist Bobbi Lockyer, will see TradeMutt launch a new range of workwear and medical scrubs to start conversations about miscarriage.
“It all started with the artist,” Barbara explains.
She met Bobbi at a conference for this year’s AusMumpreneur awards and fell in love with her art.
“She shared her story with the conference and everyone as completely blown away,” Barbara says.
“She’d done Fashion Week in Brisbane and was going to do Fashion Week in New York.
“I told her I’d love to work with her – I love her work, it’s so unique and beautiful.”
Fast-forward a couple of weeks and Barbara was at the Social Enterprise World Forum, where she met Shannon from TradeMutt, whose profits from their eye-catching shirts and workwear fund TIACS.org (this is a conversation-starter), which provides free counselling for people doing it tough.
“I mentioned that if we had a custom design for miscarriage, we could really encourage bereaved partners and dads to wear the design.
“Men just don’t like talking about their emotions and some dads don’t feel acknowledged or seen or heard or that they have the right to grieve.
“Shannon said he knew exactly what I was talking about, because he was a bereaved parent,” Barbara says.
“He understood fully about the importance of starting conversations with dads.
Barbara says they were discussing designs when she recalled her earlier conversation with Bobbi and knew instantly it would be the perfect partnership.
Aware TradeMutt had not produced workwear in Indigenous designs before, and conscious some people would feel as though they were appropriating First Nations culture, Barbara consulted Bobbi, who created an ally-friendly design that can be worn by everyone.
“Bobbi has the ability to represent Australian culture as a whole – we needed someone who could represent all the nations in Australia – and she’s already representing Australian culture internationally.
“A lot of her people are in blue-collar and mining industry jobs and would proudly wear her designs.
“So then we’re starting a conversation with indigenous culture as well as bereavement.”
With Bobbi donating the design, Barbara wanted to acknowledge her work, so TradeMutt will embroider her signature on each garment.
Barbara gave Bobbi free reign and the result is a bold pattern in blue and pink with yellow to represent healing.
“We were thinking about where else it could go, and healthcare was the obvious choice, so I asked TradeMutt how they would feel about manufacturing scrubs.
“And Shannon said ‘you know what, it’s interesting because we have had quite a bit of interest and this would be the best way to start’.”
Barbara is currently taking expressions of interest due to a minimum order amount for each style and will open for pre-orders based on feedback – but medical scrubs are guaranteed.
Vote for your favourite shirt style here.
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